The Marvel Cinematic Universe kicks off its next series of entries, dubbed Phase Five, with the upcoming Feb. 17 release of “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.” It’s curtains for the film’s Monday evening premiere in Los Angeles, with first reactions to the superhero sequel pouring in on social media.
Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly reprise their eponymous superheroes in what has been advertised as the most ambitious “Ant-Man” entry to date, sending Rudd’s Scott Lang and his family of shrinking scientists, including his now-grown daughter Cassie (Kathryn Newton), to the dangerous Quantum Realm.
The new landscape presents challenges for the heroes, including the emergence of Kang the Conqueror (Jonathan Majors), who is set to play a major role in Marvel entries to come, including 2025’s “Avengers: The Kang Dynasty.”
Michelle Pfeiffer and Michael Douglas also return for “Quantumania,” joined by a supporting cast that includes David Dastmalchian, William Jackson Harper, Katy O’Brian and Bill Murray.
Peyton Reed is back in the director’s chair after helming “Ant-Man” and “Ant-Man and the Wasp.” The director previously told Entertainment Weekly that he was eager to give his “Ant-Man” franchise the gravitas of an “Avengers”-size epic and he was intent on doing so with “Quantumania.”
“People felt like, Oh, these are fun little palate cleansers after a gigantic Avengers movie,” Reed. “For this third one, I said, ‘I don’t want to be the palate cleanser anymore. I want to be the big Avengers movie.’”
Variety artisans editor Jazz Tangcay “had an absolute blast” with the film.
Uproxx’s Mike Ryan seemed to like the movie, though hinted that Marvel newcomers may be a bit thrown by the complicated multiverse chatter.
CNET’s Sean Keane was less enthused, saying that the film had “way too much going on.”
Collider editor-in-chief Steven Weintraub called the film a “strong start to Phase 5” and highlighted Majors’ villain as a highlight.
American-Canadian Critics Choice Association member Jamie Broadnaux stated that the film had “heavy Star Wars vibes” and threw in her own support for Majors.
Gizmodo and io9 senior reporter Germain Lussier echoed the Star Wars comparison.
The Hollywood Reporter’s Brian Davids praised Majors as “endlessly compelling.”
Buzzfeed’s Nora Dominick was also into Kang. Nobody really seemed to have a bad thing to say about Majors.
See more reactions below.